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No.33 - February 2007

Important Notice - End of Amnesty is 31st of March 2007

The various amnesties granted by the Department of Justice relating to effective alarms, registration of antique handguns and the requirement to hold an Antique Handgun Collectors Licence will expire on the 31 March 2007. You cannot wait until after the amnesty expires. You must take steps before it expires if it applies to you.

Correspondence from the Registry.

Many members will have received in the last few days

a) a letter from Superintendent Wayne Ashley (Manager, Licensing Services Division) dated the 5th of February 2007 (copy attached) reminding them that the amnesty will expire as above, and

  • That all firearms collectors install an effective alarm system ... if more than 15 antique handguns, or in any other case more than five firearms, are stored on premises (included in the letter is a description of the class of effective alarm which the Chief Commission has approved. (We attach a copy of the entire letter, including that description at the end of this Very Light)

  • That all antique handguns, as defined by the Firearms Act 1996, be registered to an Antique Handgun Collectors Licence -- with the exception of pre-1900 manufactured, single shot, black powder, muzzle-loading handguns.

  • All persons wishing to possess or carry antique handguns for the purpose of collecting, buying or selling such firearms must hold an Antique Handgun Collectors Licence in order to do so.

  • b) for those who have made an application for an Antique Handgun Collectors Licence, a "first and final payment notice" for an "antique collector's handgun license" (the wrong title -- it should read Antique Handgun Collectors Licence!). This payment notice is for a three-year licence, which the Registry has admitted is a mistake. It should have been five years. Accordingly, if you have had a payment notice but want a five-year licence, you should ring Allan Ollington at the Registry on 9247 3919 and ask for it. We suggest you do so straight away.


    Apply now if you need an Antique Handgun Collectors Licence.

    If you have not yet applied for an Antique Handgun Collectors Licence and need to have one you should do so immediately. You must have obtained the licence before the amnesty expires.

    You need to have an Antique Handgun Collectors Licence if you have any handguns which were manufactured before 1900, (i.e. your own example was itself manufactured before 1900), unless they are all

    1. Single shot, black powder, muzzle loading (not cartridge firing) percussion handguns, or
    2. Pre-percussion (e.g. flintlock, matchlock, wheel lock etc) handguns.

    If you are not sure whether you need an Antique Handgun Collectors Licence or not, please ring the Guild's secretary Dr Malcolm McKay to discuss the matter (9584 2907). Do not delay.

    You can get the application form from the following link:

    www.police.vic.gov.au/content.asp?Document_ID=175

    or by telephoning the Registry and asking for the form to be sent to you. Their telephone number is 1300 651 645.

    After you have completed the Antique Handgun Collectors Licence application form you need immediately to send it to the Guild for the endorsement by a Nominated Officer (a requirement of the Act), then forward it to Registry including with it a list of the pre-1900 antique handguns you are registering (Note: this does not include pre-1900 single-shot muzzle loading percussion pistols or pre-percussion pistols).

    The Antique Handgun Collectors Licence will attract a fee but you will not be charged a registration fee for those firearms.

    Please note that if you have included all appropriate documentation with your application you may, if you wish, include a stamped addressed envelope to Registry and we will forward it to Registry for you. As time is now very short, we strongly suggest you follow this route. ACT NOW.


    Refunds

    For members who previously obtained a category one licence solely for the purpose of being licensed to hold antique handguns and have no other firearms for which a category one licence is required, and don't want to acquire any, they can contact Alan Ollington at the Registry, by phone as above, and arrange to surrender the category one licence and get a refund.

    Of course, this only applies to members who are obtaining an Antique Handgun Collectors Licence. The Guild understands that the refund they will get will not be for the whole amount of the category one licence fee they paid but only a pro rata amount from the date of cancellation by the Registry to the date the licence would otherwise have expired.

    The Guild is not satisfied with this limited concession and is in contact with both Registry and the Department of Justice to see if a more generous refund can be obtained, such as a refund of the whole of the licence fee paid to obtain a wholly unnecessary category one licence.


    Registering antique handguns to the Antique Handgun Collectors Licence.

    We understand that the Registry is aware of the need, in cases where antique handguns are already registered to category one licences, to transfer these to the new Antique Handgun Collectors Licence when they are issued.

    In order to help get this process right in your case, and to save time, the Registry have asked us to mention that if you telephone the Registry and ask them to send you a list of all your registered firearms, you can mark on the list the antique handguns that need to be transferred to the new antique handgun collectors licence, and return the list to the Registry. We understand the Registry will attempt to do this themselves but both we and they recognize it will not be easy and errors may occur, so it is probably sensible to follow the above route.

    Importance of Compliance

    Regardless of the Guild's continuing efforts to bring about changes to these requirements it is essential that each and everyone of you makes sure that you have taken the appropriate steps to comply with the law by the end of the amnesty. Failure to so will attract severe penalties.


    Other Matters

    Australia Post Ends Ban on International Shipment of Firearms and Firearm Parts

    On Friday the 9th of February the Minister responsible for Australia Post, Senator Helen Coonan announced that Australia Post had ended the ban on international shipment of firearms and firearm parts. This decision was the result of a great deal of hard work and lobbying by various firearms owners' groups including the Historic Arms Collectors Council of Australasia.


    Display Nights

    Members have asked the committee whether there is a prohibition on selling things on display nights. The answer is no, unless, in special cases, the committee expressly says so. An example where they might say so would be an event like the display night set up especially for Minister Holding last year.


    Advertising Firearms in Very Light.

    Subject to reasonable limits on the size of the advertisement, members may advertise firearms for sale in Very Light without charge. This applies to registered firearms as well exempt firearms. But registered firearms need to include in the advertisement the number of the licence under which the firearm is held and the serial number of the firearm. Non-compliant advertisements will not be included. This is a good way of selling to other members as it is reaches a large audience of licensed potential buyers. Please send advertisements to the Guild's Secretary at the Guild's offices.


    Trips to Fort Queenscliff and to the Puckapunyal Tank Museum

    Although replies to the survey showed that there would be quite a lot of enthusiasm for these and other trips, we have twice asked members to let us know if they might be interested on going on such trips if we arranged them, but we have had very little formal response. As you will understand, we need enough members to fill a coach to make these or similar trips worthwhile.

    Accordingly we will ask at the next meeting for a show of hands to indicate interest in these and a couple of other possible trips and if there is enough support for a particular venue we will set provisional dates and circulate those.


    Meeting with Adviser to the Police Minister

    We are meeting the adviser to Bob Cameron, the new Police Minister, with a view to introducing ourselves and sharing our long list of concerns and submissions with him. We are also seeking a meeting with the Minister. It has not been possible to do this earlier because of the Christmas break.


    Theme of February Meeting. (26th February 2007)

    Displays of or incorporating any of the following: Swords, Bayonets or Knives etc. Your chance at last, sword etc collectors! (See over the page the wording of the Exemption for Collectors. A number of members have asked to see this)


    Control of Weapons Act 1990.

    Exemption under section 8B for Collectors to possess swords.

    Order in Council.

    Under the Control of Weapons Act 1990 the Governor in Council has made an exemption under section 8B of that Act to possess swords applicable to members of listed collectors clubs (a list which includes the Antique & Historical Arms Collectors Guild of Victoria, Inc.)

    The wording of the exemption is as follows:

    "bringing swords into Victoria, causing swords to be brought or sent into Victoria, selling or purchasing swords, displaying or advertising swords for sale, possessing using or carrying swords for the purposes of studying and collecting swords with an historical or cultural significance".

    A person seeking to rely on this Order is subject to the following conditions:

    1) When not being used in accordance with the purpose specified in the order, swords must be stored "safely and securely"; and

    2) A person seeking to rely on this exemption must permit a member of the police force to inspect his or her storage arrangements at any reasonable time.

    In this Order -

  • "Act" means the Control of Weapons Act 1990;

  • "stored safely and securely" means:


  • (a) stored in a manner calculated to ensure that the sword:

    (i) is not readily accessible to a person other than the person seeking to rely on the exemption; and

    (ii) is not available for possession, carriage or use by a person who is not themself a holder of an approval issued by the Chief Commissioner of Police or who does not fall within another class of exempt persons;

    (b) when being transported between the usual place of storage of the sword and places at which the sword is legitimately used, the purpose of which is the subject of this exemption, stored in a manner calculated to ensure that the sword is not readily accessible to a person other than the person seeking to rely on the exemption and that the sword is concealed from plain sight during any such transportation.

    For the purposes of this Order, a class or classes of persons specified in column 1 of the table set out above (the table contains the full list of Collectors Clubs -and is too long to set out here) does not include any person who is a prohibited person as defined in the Act.

    This order comes into operation on the first of July 2004.

    (Published in the Victorian Government Gazette numbered G. 25. 17th of June 2004 pages 1714 and following).


    Upcoming Events

    Militaria, Hunting & Fishing Expo

    The Northern Victorian Arms Collectors Guild Inc. is holding a militaria, hunting and fishing expo on the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of March at East Bank Centre, Welsford Street, Shepparton.

    Contact: Geoff Wilson, (03) 5821 9015 or Michael Thompson, (03) 5859 0241

    Militaria Fair

    There will be militaria fair on the 24 March, from 10am to 6pm, Ukrainian House, 3 - 11 Russell Street, Essendon.

    Contact: Garry McDonald, EK Militaria, (03) 9370 9924

    Ballarat Collectible Fair

    The Ballarat Arms and Militaria Collectors Society, is proposing to hold a ONE day Collectible Militaria Fair on Saturday 14th July. It will be open to the public from 10am till 6pm at the Woolshed Exhibition Centre, Western Hwy, just on the eastern boundary of Ballarat. Table cost will be $40 per table. The Society will be distributing flyers at various events in the coming months.

    Contact: Nick Smith (Hon Sec) BAAMCS (03)53424433.


    © Copyright 2005 The Antique and Historical Arms Collectors Guild of Victoria. All rights reserved.